Aug 26, 2015

The Aubrey Rules by Aven Ellis ~ Review

Happy release day to The Aubrey Rules by the lovely   Aven Ellis! 
The Aubrey Rules

Some of the Aubrey Rules to Live By:

*If I’m going to indulge in French fries, I must add extra time to the treadmill the next day.
*Always keep your work and private life separate.
*Being open to new experiences will never involve eating kale.
*Never, ever date a professional athlete.

For Chicago social media professional Aubrey Paige, the rules are everything. So much so that Aubrey has painstakingly written her rules for living into a polka-dot Kate Spade notebook that she carries with her at all times. It’s her personal guidebook to living her life. These rules are the Holy Grail—ones never to be broken. They guide her actions for everything, from dealing with workplace drama to finding a great guy to date. After all, these are her own rules, built from her life experiences and observations. So they have to be perfect, right?

Or are they?

Because when Aubrey meets a cute Canadian, she suddenly finds her rules being tested and challenged in ways she never dreamed possible. Beckett Riley is the shy, quiet, determined captain of the Chicago Buffaloes, a hockey team on the verge of turning the corner to becoming a winning organization. He’s Aubrey's opposite, with so many qualities that Aubrey had listed as ones she’d never want in a man.

Yet Aubrey finds herself drawn to Beckett in ways she’s never known. And when she unexpectedly finds herself working with Beckett, she wonders if rules are meant to be broken after all . . . 
At First Sight
I love the cover to The Aubrey Rules. Aven has a wonderful cover designer and I love the detail that gets put in to each of her covers.

Characters and Relationships
You are going to love Aubrey and Beckett!  They make a fantastic couple and compliment each other so well.  I love how Aubrey has her set of rules, but at the same time, is willing to alter or maybe even ignore them when she sees that they really don't have to always be set in stone.  We all learn as we progress through life and Aubrey learns through her experiences in this book that not every rule she has made for herself is one she really needs to live by.

Beckett is such an amazing character.  He is pretty much everything you would think a professional athlete wouldn't be.  He is shy and doesn't like putting himself out there on social media but with Aubrey's help, he learns to grow and progress from his awkward introverted self and become more like the guy he is on the ice in his relationship with her and with his fans.

Is This A Kissing Book?
Of course this is a kissing book!  Aven is my girl when it comes to bringing the heat but never too much for my liking. Aubrey and Beckett were an amazing couple and I enjoyed watching their relationship progress page by page.

Don't Leave Me Hanging
This is the first book in Chicago On Ice Series but as with all of Aven Ellis's books, this one ends and can be read as a stand alone and you will be satisfied at the end without a cliff hanger.

The Best Gems
  • The Rules
  • Amendemnts
  • Notes
  • Banana Spots
  • The Love/Hate of Social Media
  • French Fries
  • Hockey (of course)
  • Holy Grail Mascara
  • Check Yes 
The Sum Up
The Aubrey Rules was yet another hit from Aven Ellis.  Her books and her writing are always fun and flirty, filled with fantastic fashion and very endearing couples.  I particularly loved how Aubrey and Beckett complimented each other so well and drew on each other's strengths to make themselves better in areas that they needed to improve. The greatest relationships I have seen in my life come from helping others and having them help and share their abilities with me and I feel like that was presented so well in this book.  I loved every single page of it.

 Get your copy on Amazon     
Add The Aubrey Rules on Goodreads

About the Author

Aven Ellis
Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency.

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night. Connectivity is Aven’s debut novel; Waiting For Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published next year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

Website    Twitter    Facebook    Pinterest    Goodreads

Aug 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuedsday ~ Authors we will be studying in YA 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by 

This weeks topic: Top Ten Authors we will be studying in YA 101

We decided to take this prompt a little differently and instead of focusing on specific books, we will be doing authors that we will be studying this semester.

Image result for stephenie meyer

Stephenie Meyer
Stephenie Meyer, the author of the ever popular Twilight series, will be our focus while talking about building unique family relationships in a supernatural world.

Suzanne Collins
Dystopian has become such a popular YA genre we will be looking at the world of The Hunger Games where Suzanne Collins showed her ability to crate an eerily realistic dystopian government in Panem.   

Katie McGarry
While looking at Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits series, we will discover Katie's ablilty to  bring us relevent teen fiction tackling topics that apply to today's teens in a realistic manner.

Colleen Houck

Colleen Houck
Colleen Houck has a unique flair for blending her beautiful stories with a great deal of history and lore.  We will look at her ability to do just that in this segment of our course.

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen has the profound ability to write YA novels that deal with change through adversity in the lives of her characters.  We will look at her carrier spanning nearly 10 years and how she has stayed relevant through the last decade.

Amy Plum
In Amy Plum's Revenants series she has written a modern day Paris that gives you the feeling of walking with her characters through the Paris streets.  We will study her ability to write such a vivid backdrop.

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare has composed a world within our world filled with all forms of paranormal characters.  We will look at the merging of these characters living within such unique society.

Tiffany King

Tiffany King

Tiffany King has the uncanny ability to write many YA genres.  From her paranormal Saving Angels and Jordyn series, to her emotional Forever Changed and Wishing For Someday Soon, we will look at her writing capabilities to cover such a wide spectrum of writing within the YA world.

Rachel  Harris

Rachel Harris

Rachel Harris has brilliantly crossed the present and the past with her brilliant My Super Sweet 16th Century Series.  We will look at the art of going from present to past, and back to the present with her unique style and flare.

Richelle MeadRichelle Mead
Author of both the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series, we will look at her ability to keep momentum through both of these series, interweaving story lines and crossing characters between both while keeping up fresh and exciting material.

That's our list for this week!  What books and authors are on your list this week?

Aug 24, 2015

Songs of the Summer 2015

As Summer comes to an end, we reflect on the amazing music that has graced this epic season over the last few months.  Get yourself ready for 
The Sarcastic Palmtree's Annual Songs of the Summer!

One Direction ~ Drag Me Down
This one slid in at the end of the summer.  Being a house full of Directioners, this one was quickly added to everyone's summer playlist.

Prince Royce ~ Double Vision
Who?  We didn't really know who Prince Royce was until we bought tickets to Ariana Grande's Honeymoon Tour, which he opened for her. After his charismatic performance, this album was a "must have" for us.  Our favorites from this album include Stuck On a Feeling, Back It Up, Double Vision, and Lie to Me.

Walk the Moon ~ Shut Up and Dance
We knew early on that this song would be making this list, and summer hadn't even hit yet. This is one of those songs that you can listen to on repeat.

Taylor Swift ~ 1989 (Deluxe)
We know it's been out for a while, but it was the album of the year!

Hilary Duff ~ Confetti
Well, Hilary Duff is making a comeback with her new TV Land series Younger and the release of her new album Breathe In. Breathe Out.  Confetti was by far our most favorite from this album.

Pitch Perfect 2 Soundtrack
We were a little late seeing this movie, but all that matters is that we got to enjoy this amazing sequel before it left theaters the following week!  The epic awesomeness of this soundtrack is unparalleled. Our favorites are as follows: Kennedy Center Performance, Winter Wonderland / Here Come Santa Claus, Riff Off, Convention PerformanceBack to Basics, Cups (When I'm Gone) [Campfire Version], World Championship Finale 2. Be sure to check out this movie when it comes out on September 1st, 2015.

Fall Out Boy ~ Immortals
We didn't see this movie until everyone and their dog told us to.  So, on a whim, we Redboxed it. Not only did we get a cute movie, but an amazing song!

Ariana Grande
Due to the fact that we saw her in concert, there was a lot of listening to these two amazing albums put out by Ariana Grande this past summer.  If you haven't checked them out yet, it is highly recommended because this girl can SING!

Austin Mahone ~ Dirty Work
This song was the best 69 cents we've spent on a whim.  It did take us a few listens, but we ended up loving it! This was probably our second favorite song of the summer.

Carly Rae Jepsen
It all started with I Really Like You and progressed to an obsession.  Our two favorite songs from the pre-released singles are most definitely Run Away With Me and E•MO•TION, which were listened to extensively this summer.  Be sure to check out our review of this album, starting with the singles.

Little Mix ~ Black Magic
Where do we even begin with this song?  It is absolutely, positively, our most favoritest song of this summer!  It's got all the feels of what could be defined as "Song of the Summer".  It has catchy lyrics, a fun beat, and makes you want to roll the windows down and listen to it on full blast.  Don't miss Black Magic by Little Mix, our #1 Song of the Summer 2015!

We're always looking for new music so enlighten us!  Share your summer songs so we can give them a listen!

Aug 21, 2015

Carly Rae Jepsen ~ E·MO·TION ~ Review Part I: The Singles

Hey everyone!  Today I am reviewing the new Carly Rae Jepsen album E•MO•TION.  Since this album happens to have a high number of songs, I will focus on it in two segments: The Singles and The Album.
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I Really Like You
In the early months of the year 2012, the world was changed forever when the song Call Me Maybe was released.  This song easily defines pop culture for that entire year.  It's smart, catchy lyrics made its way into everyone's heads for days at a time.  Fast forward three years to March of 2015.  Carly Rae Jepsen has done it again with her new single I Really Like You!  The music video, featuring THE Tom Hanks shows that, even though she's been gone for three years, Jepsen is still on top.  While, in my book, Call Me Maybe can never be replaced, I Really Like You can easily take second place.  I guess all I have left to say is that I really really really really really really like this song.

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About a month after the fast-paced I Really Like You, the down-tempo All That was released.  This song, for me, helped show what direction the album's sound was going with its heavy influence from the '80s.  Every time I hear this song, I feel like I'm being teleported back to this amazing decade of music.  In addition to this, the deep lyrics show her range as an artist.  While she can pop out hits such as Call Me Maybe and I Really Like You, All That shows there's even more under the surface.

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For a couple months, Carly Rae Jepsen went off the map, dropping hints towards her new album, but never releasing anything.  In June, she officially announced her new album E·MO·TION, and also dropped her song of the same title.  If there was anyone that had any doubts about whether this album was going to have a heavy '80 influence, this song immediately gets rid of them!  It's exciting, upbeat track makes you want to dance and sing along every time you hear it.

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This song, released mid-July, is my favorite song that has been released so far!  It has a very unique style, which makes this song a fresh addition to its predecessors.  This song easily ranks as one of my favorite songs of the year.  I have listened to it every single day since it was dropped, and I don't imagine I'll be letting that habit go in the next few months.  After the release of Run Away With Me, the world loved this song and even began to admit this album has great potential.  TIME Magazine wrote highly of the song, saying it's "Teenage Dream 2.0".  They even went as far to say this album is the "current frontunner for pop album of the year," to which I agree with 100 percent!  There has been no doubt left in my mind that this album will be great since this song was released.

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On Jun 22, the single Warm Blood was released, and it was announced that there would be two more following on a weekly basis.  This song is by far my least favorite of any song that has ever been released by Carly Rae Jepsen.  That being said, after about five to seven times of listening to this song, I really started to like it.  There's always going to be that one song that doesn't immediately strike your fancy, and that's what this song was for me.  Because of the more "indie" vibe of Warm Blood, I'm sure would've been released on a Twilight soundtrack if it had the chance.  This was ultimately the thought that led to my liking of this track, which I am not ashamed to admit.

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After Warm Blood, I was obviously a little worried that this wasn't going to be good.  Looking back I can't believe I was so stupid because this is another amazing song.  This song has only helped show that E·MO·TION definitely has a good chance at becoming the new definition of pop music.  Once again, everything about this song is great: the lyrics, the music, and everything else!

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This song couldn't have been released at a more perfect time in my life.  I just had to deal with a situation that this song reminds me of every time I listen to it.  Sometimes people have to deal with the fact that, while someone may love them, they're not in love with them.  I see this song helping those people just the same as it did for me.  All of this aside, the song itself is, once again, lyrically brilliant and it fits in perfectly with the rest of E·MO·TION as we know it so far.  Your Type was probably the best song to save for last as it gives us yet another snapshot for the album that lies ahead.
 If, for some reason, you haven't listened to these amazing songs yet, I'm excited to announce that the entire album has finally been released today!  Go buy it now and come back soon to see my review for the rest of the album, of which I have high hopes for!

Aug 19, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday ~ A Shattered Heart by Tiffany King

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by 
Jill at Breaking the Spine 
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

A Shattered Heart (Fractured Lives, #2)

Physically, Kat Darby walked away relatively unscathed from the tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation. Emotionally, her scars run much deeper from the loss of two of her best friends and her longtime boyfriend, Dan. Unable to face the constant reminders of the person she thought she would love forever, Kat leaves for twelve months to study art in France before returning home to start her life again.

Life in Florida proves more difficult than Kat anticipated with remnants of the accident still lingering. The only solace she can find is in her love for art until she runs into Brian, the younger brother of her deceased former boyfriend. Finding they can lean on each other, Kat and Brian find comfort in their emotional common bond. 

Release date for A Shattered Heart is 
September 28, 2015

Tell me beautiful people what books you are waiting on this week?

Aug 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday ~ My Top Ten Auto Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by 

This weeks topic: 

My Top Ten Auto Buy Authors

In no particular order:

Now it's your turn! 
Who is on your auto buy list?  
What authors are so good you HAVE to have their books?  

Aug 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Authors I Have Read The Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by 

This weeks topic: 

Authors I have Read The Most Books From

7 Books
Katie McGarry
 Image result for pushing the limits series

J.K. Rowling
Image result for harry potter books series

Brandon Mull

9 Books
Cassandra Clare

Image result for city of bones books series

11 Books
Lindsay Paige
Sweetness (Bold As Love, #1)Bracing the Blue Line (Bracing for Love, #1)Nepenthe (Bracing for Love, #2)

12 Books
Richelle Mead
Image result for bloodlines series richelle mead

Tiffany King
Image result for tiffany king booksWishing for Someday SoonTurtle Bay

Nyrae Dawn
Image result for what a boy wants nyrae dawnImage result for what a boy wants nyrae dawn

14 Books
Nicholas Sparks

24 Books
Richard Paul Evans
The Christmas Box Collection: The Christmas Box Timepiece The LetterThe Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey, #1)The Sunflower

What authors are your favorites to read?  Let me know because I need new must read authors too!